Monday, February 15, 2010

knit Dodecahedron pattern notes

While working through the knit pattern, I found I needed clarification. (The curse of a person who likes to follow directions to the letter.)

Yes, you do work 4 rows plain knitting after every decrease round, except the last one, which is cinched up to form the point. I felt that part of the instructions wasn't clear, so I tried both with and without the 4 plain rows after decreasing to 15 stitches (yes, that means I had to frog it, which I don't love, which is why I'm telling you this). You get less of a point if you don't do the 4 rows of plain, which would mean you have a sort of ball-of-little-hats, instead of a pointy ball. If you've gotten farther along, and you didn't do the 4 plain rows at that point, just make sure all your points are worked the same.

Here's what's weird about this: if you wander around among their free patterns, you'll come across the original, which was done in white as a Christmas tree topper. The directions are written completely differently, even though the only difference I can see in the finished object is the color choice. This set of directions was much clearer on whether or not to work those last plain rows, and also easier to see from their picture. But, what I don't get, is why re-write a pattern that already works, just to suggest a different yarn? I like the look, though. I may have to try one in white for next Christmas.

The other point which I found vague, explained no better in the alternate directions, was where you should start to pick up your stitches. They do say that you want to "pick up and k11 sts along one side of 1st Point", which should be clear enough. However, through a little trial and error (probably because I was over-thinking it) I realized that if you want the very symmetrical look they show on theirs, you need to take this literally, and consider that a "side" is the part between decreases, or, in other words, you want to pick up your first set of stitches (because the first group sets the pattern for the rest) either starting with, or ending just before, the very last stitch of your cast-on round of your 1st Point, which you'll know by the tail of yarn hanging from it. Was that confusing? Maybe it can't be put into words so much. Just start picking up your stitches in the stitch with the tail. (all this assumes you've cast on like I do, the sling-shot, or long tail, method. If your cast-on tail is left at the other end, start just after that one)

On subsequent pickups, you may wish to count the remaining stitches (of the point you are picking them up from) to make sure you have started/stopped in the correct place. Alternatively, you could place stitch markers, or tie bits of yarn, between groups of 11 stitches on the base of your 1st Point. Then you won't have to count.

Look how cute that tiny star is on the point. That's what happens (for me, anyway) on that last decrease round just before you cinch it up. I likes it.

I'm also kind of liking my matchy-matchy twin peaks there. That's just how it turned out. The 1st Point is the one in the upper left corner, the 2nd is the center bottom, and when I did the 3rd, over on the upper right, it turned out almost exactly as the 1st. I was kind of hoping they'd all turn out at least a little different. However, if you look back to the pattern, they suffer a similar fate. I tried doing one point starting from the other end of the yarn, so the stripe pattern went in the opposite direction, but the difference was too startling. I'm noticing that the stripes move up on each point, just a little, which makes for an interesting effect. I'm wondering if I'd even like this if I'd started from the other end of the yarn in the first place (possible, with this one, because, as I recall, when I did the socks, even though they were both the same dye lot, one skein was wound from the opposite end. A problem I didn't notice until I'd finished the second sock (incidentally, this was the LAST pair of socks knit one at a time), necessitating frogging the first (it was a bit looser anyway, and I liked the fit of the second one better) and starting over using the yarn as I ripped it back. That was fun.), because I wouldn't have gotten that cool snowy peaked mountain look.

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